Does mindfulness meditation improve chronic pain? A systematic review


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Abstract

Purpose of reviewPsychological factors are associated with chronic pain. Mindfulness meditation may ameliorate symptoms. The objective was to evaluate the effects of mindfulness meditation in chronic pain.Recent findingsA systematic search of four databases identified 534 citations; 13 Randomised controlled trials satisfied the inclusion criteria. Mindfulness meditation significantly reduced depression [Standardised mean difference (SMD) −0.28; 95% confidence interval (CI) −0.53, −0.03; P = 0.03; I2 = 0%]. For affective pain (SMD −0.13; 95% CI −0.42, 0.16; I2 = 0%), sensory pain (SMD −0.02; 95% CI −0.31, 0.27; I2 = 0%) and anxiety (SMD −0.16; 95% CI −0.47, 0.15; I2 = 0%) there was a trend towards benefit with intervention. Quality of life items on mental health (SMD 0.65; 95% CI −0.27, 1.58; I2 = 69%), physical health (SMD 0.08; 95% CI −0.40, 0.56; I2 = 32%) and overall score (SMD 0.86, 95% CI −0.06, 1.78; I2 = 88%) improved with mindfulness meditation.SummaryMindfulness meditation has most prominent effect on psychological aspects on living with chronic pain, improving associated depression and quality of life.

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